I don't really like the preparations for Christmas that the rest of the world is doing...the forced cheer, the shiny bows, the tacky blow up santas, the shopping shopping shopping.
But I do like Advent.
I like that it forces a slowing-down, a reflective time, a sitting in the darkness. Our culture has usurped the dark, shining colored LED lights in it rather than allowing us to just be in the dark, or the dim, for a while. Not everyone's life is full of cheery lights. Not everyone's holiday is happy. Not every Christmas is merry. Some of us work hard to have those feelings on display, but behind that facade is sadness and loss and only the faintest glimmers of hope.
That's what Advent is about...the faint glimmer of hope in the darkness. So, for one more Sunday we will eschew the Christmas Carols and sing instead in minor keys, dark tones...songs of the world turning upside down and of the possibility for things to be different. The cheer will have to wait just one more Sunday.